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How-to guide: staying alive on the 4th of July

Fireworks from the 2012 Old Sac fireworks display.

The 4th of July is a day when most people are more worried about whether they bought enough beer and burgers to satisfy themselves and the thirty-someought people at their barbecue – rather than making sure no one dies from heat stroke or the fire someone started from those illegally modified Piccolo Petes.

Twice as many fires are reported on the 4th of July than any other day of the year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The Sacramento Fire Department wants to make sure that doesn’t happen this year by providing tips to keep Independence Day fun and safe.


Fireworks may look really interesting with their bright sparks and vibrant colors, but they also come with a huge warning label with instructions on how to properly enjoy them. Follow the warning label. It’ll save you a trip to the emergency room and still be a good time. If that’s too much of a hassle, there are tons of public firework displays that are put on by professionals.


There has been a relentless heat wave going on in the city, and it will keep going for the next couple of days. Don’t let that stop you from the fun. Just be sure to stay in the shade, drink plenty of water and relax as much as possible. As an added bonus, you’ll also reduce your chances of skin cancer.


Many will be going to the rivers or lakes in the area for the festivities. Swimming or rafting in natural bodies of water means an increased chance of drowning. Life is great. Don’t miss out on it because you were afraid that the life jacket would cause weird tan lines or that orange just isn’t your color. Wear a life jacket and you’ll stay alive.


Drinking is a part of the holiday. There’s nothing wrong with a couple of beers and having some fun. Just be sure to drink responsibly. Swimming, grilling and lighting off fireworks while drunk is a bad idea, consult YouTube as a reference. If you decide to drink, let a sober guest at your barbecue handle those activities and just be a spectator.

“Each year, residents come together to celebrate an important day in our history,” said SFD Chief Ray Jones in a press release. “We want to ensure that citizens use caution during each celebration activity—whether it’s swimming, cooking on the barbeque or watching a fireworks display—and keep safety top-of-mind.”

The 4th of July is a day to be proud of the country we live in and to just enjoy ourselves. These tips are to make sure that your pride is both fun and safe.

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